NBA Press Release
  13 September 2009
Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

Narmada in Full Spate Again: Gross Illegality and Callous Nexus of State Exposed

62, Mahatma Gandhi Road,
Badwani,
Madhya Pradesh - 451551
Tel: 07290-222464
Email: badwani[at]narmada.org

SAVE THE VALLEY – ENSURE JUSTICE

SARDAR SAROVAR AFFECTED ADIVASIS TO CHALLENGE SUBMERGENCE WITHOUT REHABILITATION

Narmada is in full spate, yet again! Maximum water has flown into the Sardar Sarovar dam affected areas since yesterday night, resulting into submergence of mainly farms, though the waters have also reached tens of houses and submerged some huts in the villages such as Kharya Bhadal in Badwani and Bhitada in Alirajpur (both in M.P.) and Chimalkhedi in Maharashtra. The swell in the waters has also been accentuated by release of waters from the reservoirs of the Tawa, Bargi Omkareshwar dams in the upstream.

The adivasis had to save their belongings, from the roaring sea-like Narmada by working over night while they have never even thought of leaving their villages, without fair and just rehabilitation, come what may. Not less than a few hundred farms / land holdings have got flooded with the rising waters and the crop stands destroyed in the hills and the plains.

Preliminary figures coming out are: 17 farms in Manibeli, 3 in Dhankhedi, 40 in Chimalkhedi, 3 in Sinduri, 33 in Bamni, 15 in Danel, 13 in Mukhdi, 4 in Savyari Digar as well as 19 in Bhadal (all in Maharashtra).

The numbers from Alirajpur district of Madhya Pradesh have not yet reached us since no means of communication were working and even the boats were defunct since the huge waves in Narmada did not relent. In village Kharya Bhadal in Badwani, however it is come to be known for sure that the farms of Lal sing and Jamsing which were not even acquired were submerged!! In Badwani (M.P.), farms in villages like Bhilkheda, Bavthi, Pichhodi too are flooded but marginally while the temples of Kalghat have gone under waters, though not the 3000-strong thickly populated village.

In the region of Nimad, Narmada itself has come to help in establishing the fact that the adhocly changing Back Water levels (BWLs) and the related conflict amongst the central and state ministries and authorities on the one hand and the State of Madhya Pradesh. and its people on the other is exposing the fact of not just no rehabilitation, but not even the finalization of the total number of project affected families / villages, and the game of numbers continues.

Families in the villages of Gujarat who are not yet rehabilitated as per law and policy too have faced the brunt, but there is no concrete information reaching here till date. We are on the way to the villages and hence more info will come to you soon.

There has been no sign of the so called ‘mechanism of vigilance’ and support during submergence which the Government seemingly ‘plans’ and allots lakhs of rupees budget for and claims that it would ‘take care’ of the affected communities on a large scale and protect human life and property !

All this has proved the Government claims and affidavits to be false once again, since the families habitated in these villages have again faced destruction, in spite of their being entitled to rehabilitation prior to any submergence of any of their properties. The authorities such as NCA with the Ministry of Social Justice at the helm of affairs too have certainly failed in ensuing not just compliance but also instilling confidence in any one who is not begging for resettlement benefits but asserting his/her rights. Instead the huge corruption that the NVDA and State Governments have been involved in has exposed the hollow claims of rehabilitation, as Courts and Commission of inquiry continue to unearth corruption.

TAKE ACTION: WRITE TO AUTHORITIES: DEMAND JUSTICE

Come what may, the fight is on in the field and in the Court and we hope TRUTH WILL PREVAIL. We appeal to all conscientious supporters of ours to write to the concerned authorities, expressing your anguish and demanding immediate justice to the affected families:

1. Write to the Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and Rehabilitation Minister of Maharashtra condemning the submergence and impact and demanding immediate purchase of private land and rehabilitation of all the hundreds of families.

(a) Shri Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Chief Minister, Madhya Pradesh Ph: 0755-2551581, 0755-2551433; Fax: 0755-2551781, 0755-2540501 E-mail: cm@mp.nic.in

(b) Shri Ashok Chavan, Chief Minister, Maharashtra Ph: 022-22025151, 022-22025222 ; Fax: 022-22029214, 23633272, 23631446 E-mail: chiefminister@maharashtra.gov.in

(c) Shri Dileep Deshmukh, Rehabilitation Minister, Maharashtra Ph: 022-22875930; Fax: 022-22876342 E-mail: sec_r&r@maharashtra.gov.in

2. Write to Chairman and Director (Rehabilitation) of the statutory body, Narmada Control Authority, to play an honest role in monitoring the status of rehabilitation and not permitting any further submergence and further construction of SSP.

Dr. Afroz Ahmed, Director (Rehabilitation), NCA Ph: 0731-2558603 (O) ; 0731-2574530 (R) ; Fax: 0731-2554333 E-mail: dir.rehab.nca@nic.in

3. Write to the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment and the Minister of Environment and Forests to take appropriate action against the law-offending officials and authorities and ensure that NO submergence would occur without full rehabilitation, including guaranteeing alternative livelihoods and resettlement sites.

(a) Shri Mukul Wasnik, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Tel No: 011-23381001, 23381390 (O); 011-24641888 (R) Fax: 011-24636655 ; 011-23381902 E-mail: msje@nic.in , m_wasnik@hotmail.com

(b) Shri Jairam Ramesh, Minister of Environment and Forests Ph: 011-24361727, 23463958 ; 24362222 (Fax) E-mail: mosef@nic.in , jairam@jairam-ramesh.com , jairam54@gmail.com

(c) Urgently also write / fax to the Chief Justice of India and the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court to convey your feelings and demanding protection of the constitutional rights of the affected population, asking if the courts are at least now convinced that justice needs to be accrued to the adi-vasis who are being forcibly and unceremoniously evicted from their home hearths and livelihoods?

Fax Nos: 011-23381508, 23381584, 23384336/23384533/23384447 E-mail: supremecourt@nic.in

Remember, even today, there are 40, 000 families in the submergence area of SSP and while no maximum flood has occurred this year also, if and when it occurs, anytime , any year, at the present height of 122 mts of dam wall, submergence threatens not less than 225 villages in 3 states including thickly populated 160 villages and 1 township in the plains of Nimad (M.P)

There are thus 2 lakh people in the submergence area even today, with farming, schooling, markers horticulture, agriculture and all community life on.

There is still HOPE THAT THE VALLEY WOULD BE SAVED with everyone’s support and prompt, persistent intervention.

Medha Patkar Ashish Mandloi Yogini Khanolkar Ratan (Kernet)